PNG: Video of man mauled by police dogs must be investigated

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The Papua New Guinea authorities must carry out an independent investigation into alleged brutality by a police dog squad, after a graphic video depicted a seemingly defenceless man being repeatedly attacked, said Amnesty International. 

In the film, which has been shared on social media, the man is seen sitting on the ground, surrounded by officers holding three leashed dogs as they lunge and attack him.

While the footage has not yet been verified, it raises serious concerns about torture and other ill-treatment by police.

“This appalling incident raises serious questions about police brutality,” said Roseann Rife, spokesperson for Amnesty International.

“The Papua New Guinea authorities must act on this shocking footage and immediately initiate an independent investigation. Torture is unacceptable under any circumstances and those responsible must be brought to justice.

“The seriousness of this incident is highlighted by this man’s humiliation and his screams of pain. It is difficult to watch.”

A marked police vehicle and officers in uniforms are clearly visible in the video. At the end of the film, the man manages to escape and runs off into the distance.

“It is unknown what injuries the man sustained, if he received any medical treatment after the ordeal, or if he was subsequently taken into custody,” Rife added.

The organization is calling for clear public assurances and actions to back it up by the Papua New Guinea government that torture and other ill-treatment by military, police or prison officers will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

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